The Dell AIO 966 is quite a beast, but looks the part with its white and metallic livery – a popular combination on multifunction photo printers.
A 2.4in LCD flips up and displays step-by-step setup instructions. The Dell AIO 966's display also makes it easy to select the photo you want to print from a memory card or via PictBridge. You can even preview scans this way. The Dell AIO 966 lacks one-touch hardware buttons.
The lid on the scanner can be lifted off or left upright – a plus if you need to scan in large documents. Printing paper is awkward to load and, even worse, the Dell AIO 966 ran out of colour shortly after we began our tests. But although it is the most expensive printer here, due to its fax capabilities, the AIO 966's ink cartridges are well priced.
The Dell AIO 966 is quiet in operation and, once up and running, the bundled software offers a comprehensive list of paper types and size options. You also get duplex support but little control over print quality. You can, however, realign images, reduce background noise and tweak brightness.
Colour copying is fast but lacks colour depth. Although speedy, mono copying suffers from banding. The Dell AIO 966 was slap-bang in the middle of the pack when it came to photo printing, with average specifications of 4,800x1,200dpi printing and an onboard memory spooler of 32MB. The results had a bluish tinge.
Text printed on Draft setting was quicker than most and of an acceptable quality. We were impressed by the standard and speed of prints using the Normal setting. The scanning time at 300dpi was 32 seconds, while the 1,200dpi scanning performance was mid-pack.